Blogging has become so popular over the last decade that overall numbers may surprise even the hardcore bloggers out there.
There are close to 1.7 billion sites online. Of those sites, roughly 600 million are blogs. Today, we will look at two popular blogging platforms — WordPress vs Blogger — and see which one is better. We’ll also cover the open source WordPress.org CMS, a self-hosted version of WordPress that you fully own.
Ready? Let’s start!
Overview of WordPress and Blogger
Both the WordPress and Blogger platforms have a unique history. To understand a little more about both before diving into the comparison part, let’s do a quick overview of them both.
Started on May 27, 2003, WordPress was originally only supposed to be for blogging. Over time, this platform evolved into a fully functioning CMS platform that allows for a ton of freedom and functionality to build websites.
WordPress.org is an open source software managed by the non-profit WordPress Foundation. WordPress.com is a for-profit business owned by Automattic that uses the WordPress.org open source software.
While you can now build just about any site you want using WordPress (especially WordPress.org), it is still wildly popular with the blogging community. So in this sense, it still stays close to its roots.
WordPress is, always has been, and always will be, an open source platform. Anyone can contribute to the code, and when using themes and plugins, you have the freedom and ability to build and change things however you want, provided you know enough coding.
The system is written in PHP and paired with a MySQL — or more recently — a MariaDB database.
And there are over 8,000 themes to use on WordPress.org alone, while the WordPress plugin repository has over 58,000+ plugins available.
It may be surprising to some, but Blogger came before WordPress. On August 23, 1999, Blogger was released to the masses by a company called Pyra Labs. Google later purchased it in 2003, and they still own it to this day.
Like WordPress, it is a blog publishing platform that gives users all the tools to publish and maintain blogs.
You may have heard the term “Blogspot” thrown around here and there as well. It refers to the same service.
While you may be surprised to know that Blogger is still around, it is, and there are a good amount of people still using it. As recently as 2018, Google did a widespread update of the platform to keep it going.
Blogger is still a widespread and established blogging platform. While market share pales compared to WordPress — as we will see below — it is still a great way to interact and build within a like-minded community.
WordPress vs Blogger — Data and Market Share
When it comes to the actual market share of WordPress vs Blogger, the numbers are not close. WordPress runs 40.0% of all the sites on the Internet.
Blogger’s numbers are not nearly as impressive, as it comes somewhere around the 1.4% market share point. You also have to remember that this number represents a blogging CMS platform market share only.
Despite this, there is still a built-in audience for Blogger. Let’s go over a complete rundown for both.
WordPress vs Blogger — The Complete Rundown
Now that you have a little overview of WordPress and Blogger, it is time to jump into comparison mode. We will examine several aspects of both platforms, break them down, and declare a winner in each area.
That should help give you a much clearer idea of what platform is suitable for your website.
Ease of Use
The first thing most people want to know is how easy it is to use the relevant platforms. For many, WordPress vs Blogger ease of use will help decide the final choice of medium.
Honestly, it doesn’t get much easier than WordPress. The entire platform focuses on ease of use.
Essentially, WordPress gives you all the tools you need to build and design a blog right out of the box.
That said, there are some extra steps you might need to take with WordPress during setup. It depends on whether or not you are using WordPress.org or WordPress.com to build your blog.
The difference between the two is something we will dig into a little more below. However, for a quick hitter, WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform that does not require any payment to host a site, unless you want to use a custom domain name.
While WordPress.org is a self-hosted service that requires you to build a self-hosted site, and that starts with finding a solid WordPress web host (hint, hint) first.
Regarding ease of use and its relation to Blogger, the platform is straightforward to use and manage if you use it for writing only.
Like WordPress, Blogger gives you an excellent selection of built-in tools that allow you to maintain and manage a blog site quickly and easily.
Blogger operates like WordPress.com. You get a low-cost, sometimes no cost, platform that you can use to blast your blog content out to the masses.
Since it is so easy to manage and maintain, you forfeit most control over it, and it can be shut down at any time if you do not correctly follow the Blogger community guidelines.
Winner: For out-of-the-box ease of use, Blogger. For more functionality while still having access to simple control features, WordPress.
WordPress vs Blogger — Customization Options and Functionality
When it comes to customization and functionality, you will find very little — if anything at all — that is more customizable and functional than WordPress.
Blogger does offer a little customization, but as you see below, it pales compared to the flexibility of WordPress.
WordPress is well-known for its ability to give users complete control of the platform. Even if you are using WordPress.com, you have more functionality than Blogger.
Since WordPress is open-source, it allows anyone to manipulate code and use shortcodes. You can add and subtract however you want, building and designing just about anything imaginable.
There are also over 50,000 available plugins to use on a WordPress site. These plugins allow you to accomplish just about anything you want, using little to no code in many cases.
Blogger offers some customization experience. Within the platform, you will find places to change page appearance, colors, page layouts, and a couple of other valuable items.
Unlike WordPress, flexibility, functionality, and customization options fall way short, despite the easy-to-use drag and drop options.
WordPress vs Blogger – Administration and Maintenance
When it comes to the admin dashboard of platforms and how easy it is to maintain and manage, people usually want user-friendly, easy to navigate, and simple to maintain.
Both WordPress and Blogger offer this; it is a matter of personal preference here.
Having complete control over your website is something that WordPress gives users. However, it can be a lot on the eyes if it is your first time inside a WordPress admin dashboard.
Since WordPress offers so much freedom and functionality, you can do just about anything from the admin dashboard. This includes:
- Installing and managing all themes and plugins
- Manage all posts and pages
- Manage all reusable blocks using the Gutenberg block editor
- Create, delete, and manage all users and user roles
- Moderate all comments
- Design, code, create
- Delete the entire site
- Editing and managing all user roles
Maintenance will depend on how often you go into the dashboard to write and update your site. How much care is required for WordPress will also depend on whether or not you are self-hosting or not.
Remember. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different things. Both give you the chance to use the WordPress CMS, but each is different based on several aspects that we will go over below.
Despite being much less flexible and customizable, Blogger also offers users the ability to manage quite a bit directly from the user dashboard.
Once you have set up your blog on Blogger and login, you will see quite some functionality available. This includes:
- Tools and resources to help others find your blog
- Share content on other sites
- Control access to your blog
- Backup or import your blog
- Manage blogs that you follow
- Manage all domains registered through Blogger
- SEO options
- Full blog settings
- Ability to delete the entire blog
Maintenance on Blogger is effortless. The entire thing is taken care of and secured because you use the Blogger platform that Google runs. The frequency of content updates is totally up to you.
WordPress vs Blogger — Pricing
As is the case with just about anything, pricing for products and services will vary based on certain decisions. For example, when speaking on WordPress, there are two different routes you can go.
Let’s take a look at pricing comparisons for WordPress.com and Blogger.com. After that, let’s talk about WordPress.org and how that differs from the other two options.
Heading over to the WordPress pricing page, you can see multiple pricing options and tiers available. First off, there is a free plan that you can take advantage of if you want.
This plan is perfect for bloggers that are starting. All you have to do to get started is open a WordPress.com account.
Just click on the Start with Free button option available on the page.
This automatically takes you to the WordPress.com sign-up page. Simply fill out the info needed and create a free account.
When you sign up for a free WordPress.com account to blog, your domain name will be a subdomain name. For example, your domain will look like this:
You can also register a new custom domain name or transfer an existing one to your free site. This will redirect any visitors to those domains to your WordPress.com subdomain.
If you want to move forward with paid options, WordPress.com has several available as well. The paid options open up a lot of functionality and customization options. This also allows you to use the domain name of your choice instead of a WordPress subdomain.
Pricing options break down by tier levels. Like anything else, it all depends on what features you want. Currently, there are 4 model tiers offered:
- Personal: $4
- Premium: $8
- Business: $25
- eCommerce: $45
There are also enterprise-level plans available that start at $2,000 per month. Notice that WordPress.com gives you the option to pay annually or monthly.
Click on the Pay monthly tab to view monthly prices.
WordPress also provides a fantastic option to compare all plans. Just click on the Compare our plans tab to pull that information out.
We wanted to take just a second here to explain WordPress.org. We have mentioned several times above that WordPress has two options. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Detailed above is WordPress.com.
However, WordPress.org is where you can download and install your version of WordPress and start building and designing from there. Since the platform is open source, it is free for anyone to use.
To use WordPress in this way, you need three main things:
From there, you can design and build freely.
Simply put, Blogger has no pricing options. It is free to use. You simply go to the Blogger website and click on the Create Your Blog button to get started.
It comes with hosting, just like the free WordPress option. You also get a free subdomain name, and you can forward your other domains to it as well. So, your domain will look like this in Blogger:
You do need a Google account to create a blog on Blogger.
You need no prior skills to use Blogger, as they have everything available for you. It is a basic layout with not a lot of functionality. Again though, it is free and great for beginners.
WordPress vs Blogger — SEO
SEO is one of the most important aspects of any blog or website. Naturally, it is essential to know what type of SEO options are available to you through WordPress vs Blogger.
WordPress comes with a lot of different built-in SEO tools. You can create static URLs called permalinks, and you also have the ability to blogroll and ping.
Where WordPress shines is its third-party SEO plugins and tools. You can use all of these to push SEO standards to new highs on your blog.
One that is worth mentioning is Yoast SEO. It is one of the most popular SEO plugins that WordPress has and one of the most popular plugins in the world. They have a fantastic free version available.
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Blogger also allows you to control some on-page and on-site SEO functions from the templates they provide. You can also set permalinks how you want.
If you know a little about SEO, the Blogger platform provides enough tools to help you rank if your content is solid. After all, Google does own it.
WordPress vs Blogger — Support and Community
When you are trying something new, it is always a good idea to have support and a community of individuals who can help you on your journey.
If blogging is new to you, you need to know what type of support is available.
WordPress may arguably have the best support system and community available online.
There are thousands of tutorials, message boards, videos, and other online communities that you can find and get the answers you need.
You won’t have to look very long to find any help you need with any aspect of your site.
While Blogger does have some support, it is much more limited than that of WordPress.
They include some essential documentation that you can access, as well as a users’ forum. Outside of that, you won’t find any significant or dedicated online communities that offer help, tutorials, videos, and support.
WordPress vs. Blogger — Ecommerce
eCommerce at a high level is probably not something you are interested in doing if you are looking into a simple WordPress or Blogger website. However, let’s touch on it for a minute anyway, as ecommerce often comes up a little later down the road.
WordPress and ecommerce go hand-in-hand because of the WooCommerce plugin. This plugin gives you everything you need to set up and sell physical and digital goods online right out of the box.
The main WooCommerce plugin is free and will include all the tools you need. Yes, you can get tons of plugin add-ons and pay to extend your ecommerce store, but again, the main plugin is free.
Blogger also has some ecommerce options available. However, they need to be implemented differently.
There are no big third-party ecommerce solutions available to add to Blogger that enable you to build an online store for starters. So, there are three main options to consider:
- Add buy buttons or product widgets
- Embed an online store from another source
- Link out to an external ecommerce store
These are all viable options and will allow you to sell products through your Blogger site.
You can use Paypal to get your products paid for through Blogger and embed their buy now buttons.
Winner: WordPress because of on-site functionality.
WordPress vs Blogger — Monetization
Monetization is something almost every blogger is interested in. The good news is that both the WordPress and Blogger platforms allow for monetization.
There are two quick and easy ways to monetize each platform, Adsense and affiliate links. While there are quite a few Adsense alternatives, both platforms will let you monetize right away using Google Adsense and affiliate links.
You will need an Adsense account and some code, but other than that, you can display ads on your WordPress or Blogger site reasonably quickly.
As far as affiliate links go, you can sign up to many different affiliates around the web and embed your links throughout your content.
WordPress vs Blogger — Ownership
The last thing we need to consider is how each platform treats ownership rights of the content. You may be surprised at what the answers are.
WordPress is open source, and whether you use them directly to host your site or another hosting provider, all the content you create is yours, and you own it.
You can decide where you want your blog to be and how long you want it up.
When using the WordPress platform, you own all the data and control who you share information with.
As we learned earlier in this article, Google owns Blogger. It is very reliable, a great way to get a blog going, and has enough features that publishing posts are not very difficult.
However, you do not own any of it.
Since Google runs the Blogger platform, they have a right to shut it down at any time without warning. You can also be banned or suspended without notice if they decide you violated their terms and conditions.
Google also has a history of leaving projects quickly or abandoning them. Think Feedburner and Google+.
WordPress vs Blogger — Which is Better?
So, which blogging platform is better? Well, a lot of the choices people make are base on personal opinion. However, other variables that go into decision-making include a lot of the things we went over above.
When choosing between WordPress vs Blogger, many decisions are based on ease of use and price, especially starting.
Aside from how easy Blogger is to use and monetize, WordPress wins every category we went over above. WordPress is a clear choice with its market share, communities, and the ability to add ecommerce and monetize easily.
WordPress and Blogger are two of the most recognizable names in the blogging platform niche. It is essential to have all the information in front of you to make an educated decision.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Enjoy trying both platforms out and figuring out which works best for your website.
Have you tried both of them? Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section.
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